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Updated: 30 min 27 sec ago

Construction Worker Sues for Disney Animal Kingdom Injury

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 18:18

A bit of mystery surrounds a lawsuit filed by construction worker Robert Howard against Disney, MLC Theming, and Total Demolition Services. Howard alleges that dangerous conditions at his worksite located within Disney World's Animal Kingdom created an unsafe work site, which caused him to sustain an injury when a ditch he was digging collapsed on him.

What's odd is that the lawsuit provides no details about the injury other than the date, March 11, 2016. Neither Disney, Total Demolition Services, nor MLC reported any incidents around that time to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), though admittedly only work-related fatalities or hospitalizations are required to be reported to OSHA. Total Demolition Services has been listed inactive since 2017. Howard is seeking more than $15,000 in damages, but his attorney claims Howard filed the lawsuit to find out what happened so that history doesn't repeat itself.

Florida Law Makes It Difficult to Sue for Work Related Injuries

Interestingly, Florida law insulates its employers from liability related to many on-the-job injuries. State workers' compensation laws preclude injured workers from suing employers directly. The public policy behind this is predictability. Tort lawsuit awards are very unpredictable, while workers' compensation for injuries is handled through insurance claims, which even-out the financial blow across the client base. However, this law will not shield employers from gross negligence or conduct "substantially certain" to result in injury or death.

Dangerous Conditions Suit Against Disney May Prove Challenging

It is unclear who Howard's employer actually was at the time. All that is knows is that it was not Disney. Very few OSHA complaints have been filed against Walt Disney World. And even fewer dangerous conditions suits, other than the infamous alligator that killed the toddler boy in 2016. To prevail in a premises liability action, Howard will have to prove that the defendant had a legal responsibility to maintain the property without hazards, and failed to do this, resulting in his injury. Courts will expect that Howard assumed some risk, given that he had accepted employment working in this ditch. And given Florida law, the hazard in this claim must have been substantially certain to result in injury or death.

If you or someone you love has been injured on someone else's property, contact a local personal injury attorney. An experienced lawyer can best compare the facts of your case with local laws to determine if you may be able to get compensated for your injuries, often at no cost to you.

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Tesla Sued After High Speed Fatality in Florida

Wed, 01/09/2019 - 18:10

Speeding is always a safety risk, but especially on turns going nearly 100 miles per hour over the speed limit. The family of an 18-year-old boy killed in a Tesla car accident is suing the car manufacturer for what the attorney calls an "unreasonably dangerous" car.

Edgar Monserratt alleges that the Tesla in which his son was riding when he died contained a defective battery. In addition, he claims the company was negligent for removing the speed governor on the car when it was last in the Tesla shop. Plaintiffs are seeking at least $18,000 in damages, but nothing will bring back their son.

Unsafe Car or Unsafe Driving?

Edgar Monserratt's 18-year-old son, Edgar Monserratt Martinez, was in the passenger seat of a Tesla Model S car driven by his friend Barrett Riley in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Riley was driving down Seabreeze Boulevard at over 116 mph. Riley was in the right lane, but moved to the left to pass a car while going around a curve with a warning sign to slow to 25 mph. When Riley attempted to move back into the right lame, he hit an adjacent wall, came back into the road, then hit a light post on the opposite side of the street. At that point, the car erupted into flames and killed both Martinez and Riley.

Riley was no stranger to speeding in that car. In fact, about two months before the crash, after receiving a speeding ticket for going 112 mph down a Florida highway, Riley's parents had Tesla install a speed limiting governor on the car that would artificially cap the car's rate of speed at 85 mph. However, when the car was subsequently in the Tesla maintenance shop, Tesla removed the governor without Riley's parents permission.

Negligent Care and Negligent Manufacturing

Monserratt is claiming two causes of negligence in his case, one for the negligent removal of the governor, and another under defective product. "The Tesla S sedan had inadequate measures to prevent a post-collision fire and had inadequate measures to contain a fire," said Chicago attorney Philip Corboy Jr., one of the attorneys representing Monserratt.

There have been stories in the news about Tesla battery backs catching fire, and even reigniting, as Riley's did when it was on the tow truck being hauled away, and again at the salvage yard. But according to Tesla, the rate at which the batteries explode is far less than the average car. Since the Model S was released in June of 2012, there have been at least a dozen battery fires worldwide, according to plaintiff's attorney.

However, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fire departments respond to an average of 152,300 car fires per year in America alone. Tesla also claims that no car would have been able to refrain from catching car on an impact such as this one.

If you feel that you have been injured by a dangerous product, contact a products liability attorney. Product liability actions are often complex and vary somewhat by state law. An experienced attorney will be able to answer your questions and protect your interests, often at no cost to you.

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Illegal Butt-Lift Doc Facing Homicide Charges

Tue, 01/08/2019 - 14:48

Third time's a charm, and perhaps this time, the sentencing will be more severe. Whalesca Castillo has been arrested for manslaughter in the death of Lesbia Ayala, a resident of Philadelphia who had traveled to the Bronx to have Castillo perform a "butt lift" without a medical license. Castillo has also been charged with criminally negligent homicide and the unauthorized practice of a profession. 

Castillo had already been found guilty and jailed twice before for providing illegal silicone injections. But this time, the client died. Facing repeat charges and showing only discontent for the law, Castillo may be in for some hard time.

Ayala Died Due to Embolism From Silicone Injection

Police were called to Castillo's home in the Bronx on June 17, 2018, to find Ayala in cardiac arrest. Transported to the hospital, she died soon thereafter, due to an embolism. Medical examiners tied the cardiac arrest to the silicone injections Ayala had received in her buttocks and thighs, presumably at the hands of Castillo.

"Notorious Unsanctioned Butt-Lifter"

Castillo has been described as a "notorious unsanctioned butt-lifter". In September 2011, Castillo faced charges related to operating a plastic surgery clinic without a medical license, and served a year in federal prison before being released with probation. Less than three years later, she was charged again with providing silicone enhancement procedures and went back to prison for another nine-month stretch.

Reckless Disregard -- For Human Life and the Law

In court documents obtained from her prior two criminal proceedings, Castillo showed little care, and even less expertise, in helping her clients through these cosmetic enhancements. For instance, when one client had complained of leaking blood and liquid from her buttocks and legs, Castillo replied "Buy some crazy glue and put it on it." 

In her 2011 federal case, she described how she would receive hundreds of silicone gel bottles from the Dominican Republic, marked in Spanish as "silicone for hair" or "for body massage", that she would inject into people's bodies at various houses out of which she operated. She would dispose of the vials and needles by throwing them on sidewalks. Though she charged $1,500 per procedure, and owned approximately $1.5 million in various real estate properties, she pleaded guilty in 2012 for falsely claiming $30,000 in welfare benefits from the city's Human Resource Administration.

If you have been injured by silicon injections administered outside of a hospital setting, you may be able to be compensated for your losses. Contact a local personal injury attorney to discuss the facts of your case to see if you have any legal remedies available to you. Most attorneys will hear your case at no cost during a free consultation, so you have nothing to lose, and potentially much to gain.

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How Much Is a Plastic Surgery Lawsuit Worth?

Mon, 01/07/2019 - 14:13

Many cosmetic surgery procedures are perfectly safe, and clients are healthy afterwards and happy with the results. But any surgery is dangerous, and not all plastic surgery operations leave us looking the way we expected or were promised.

If you are injured due to the negligence of a plastic surgeon or their staff, you could have a valid medical malpractice or other legal claim. How much that claim could be worth depends on many factors, including the extent of injury you've suffered and the type of lawsuit you are filing. Here are some basic damages considerations in plastic surgery lawsuits.

Doctor Malpractice

Most medical malpractice lawsuits award compensatory damages only, which cover expenses surrounding injury, lost income, and projected future medical costs, all based on the premise that your plastic surgeon breached a professional duty of care to you. This can occur in any cosmetic surgery gone bad:

If you can prove the plastic surgeon or their employees or contractors fell below the standard of care of the reasonable doctor or hospital in same or similar circumstances, you could be entitled to compensatory damages. Malpractice claims, however are not easy, and generally require expert testimony and complex medical reports along with experienced legal counsel.

Doctor Misconduct

Even if the cosmetic surgery goes well, surgeons can be held liable for other forms of misconduct. Plastic surgeons have been sued for:

If the misconduct is truly egregious you may be entitled to punitive damages, which are a form of financial punishment.

Talk to a Lawyer

For a more thorough determination of potential damages in your plastic surgery case, speak with a lawyer who has experience in medical malpractice and privacy claims. State laws may vary and may contain statutory limitations on recovery, known as damages caps. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee, so don't hesitate to contact a lawyer for help today.

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